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Suggested Activities: Safe Driving

Activity Safety Belt Observations

Time of Year February/May – SADD Calendar
Any time of year

Summary Even though everyone knows safety belts save lives, many teens still don’t wear them, which results in many unnecessary deaths and injuries.

Objective To increase the awareness of safety belt usage and to make use a priority among teens

Lead by example! Always wear your safety belt whenever you are in a car. Statistics show that of the approximately 6,000 teen occupants who die in motor vehicle crashes every year, approximately two thirds (more than 4,000) are not wearing safety belts. The percentage of young people in alcohol-related crashes who are not wearing belts is even higher. We all know that safety belts save lives.

Conduct a safety belt observation to highlight the safety belt usage in your school or community. You may want to conduct at least two safety belt observations and in between implement a safety belt program to highlight the consequences of not wearing a safety belt. Use the first survey to determine a baseline and use subsequent observations to show improvement as a result of your safety belt program.

Your goal should be 100% participation by the last observation! Ask the principal if he or she will sponsor a pizza day or ice cream day if you reach that goal. Post a chart in the cafeteria or another highly visible place. Mark the number of people wearing safety belts, so everyone can see and take pride in the progress.

What to Do

  1. Select safety belt observation teams of two or more people. Students, teachers, parents, local law enforcement, or other community members may serve on the observation teams.

  2. Decide who will be the observers and who will be the recorders. The observer will verbally give the information to the recorder as they view cars. The recorder will use a small stack of Data Collection Forms on a clipboard to fill out the data according to the ongoing verbal statements of the observer. An example of what the observer would call out might be "two occupants, driver, belted, front seat, not belted" or "four occupants, driver and front seat, unbelted, back seat, both belted."

  3. Observation teams should have 20 or more photocopies of the Data Collection Form with them during each observational survey. Be sure to keep the original in the manual to copy for future observational surveys.

  4. Have the Data Collection Forms, a clipboard, and a pencil or pen ready for each observational survey.

  5. Observation teams will observe the drivers, front seat right-side passengers, and backseat passengers to determine whether or not they are wearing a shoulder belt correctly over the body.

  6. Select your observation point. The safety of the observation teams is the first priority! When selecting specific locations to stand for observations, never place yourself in a dangerous spot for the sake of the data. Be sure to stand in a safe location so that drivers entering and exiting the parking lot can clearly see you! Here are some suggestions.
    • Choose a safe spot that is clearly visible to drivers.
    • Avoid driveways.
    • Stand safely in the parking lot, on a curb, on a sidewalk, or on the shoulder of the road.
    • Observe cars driving next to the curb, sidewalk, or shoulder you are standing safely on.
    • Observe only one traffic lane.
    • Observe cars going in one direction only.
    • Conduct surveys during periods of high traffic volume. Observing vehicles entering the parking lot before school and/or vehicles exiting the parking lot after school makes the most sense for this purpose.

  7. Have observation teams practice for a few minutes prior to beginning the actual survey to review the procedures and requirements.

  8. Get permission and coordinate all safety belt observations with the appropriate school authorities. Be sure to let school officials know exactly where and when your surveys will take place and alert them of your presence prior to the observations. If asked by motorists what you are doing, indicate that you are involved in a traffic study but do not divulge the details of the survey. Keep your interactions to a minimum. If you are confronted by someone who accuses you of collecting personal or private data, assure the person that no personal data (license plate numbers, etc.) are being recorded. If at any time you feel uncomfortable with a person or situation you encounter, immediately suspend the data collection and return to your school or your vehicle.

  9. At the end of the observation period, teams should review all paperwork and confirm the data that was entered.

  10. In between observations, implement a safety belt program, such as the three listed below (which can be found in this manual), or other awareness-raising messages.
    • School announcements
    • Quick Click Buckle Up Challenge
    • Safety Belt Pledge Drive


Safety Belt Observational Survey Data Collection Form

Date: _______ Time: ________ Location: ________________________

Indicate the number of occupants (including the driver) and whether the driver and the passenger(s) are belted (YES) or not belted (NO) by placing the number in the appropriate box. Photocopy this form and keep the original in the manual.

# of Occupants


Tally the numbers from the Data Collection Form and enter the sums in the appropriate columns. You may photocopy this form for your pre- and post-surveys.

BELTED ________ BELTED ________ BELTED ________

Activity Quick Click Challenge

Time of Year February/May – SADD Calendar
Any time of year

Summary Even though everyone knows safety belts save lives, many teens still don’t wear them, which results in many unnecessary deaths.

Objective To remind everyone that safety belts are easy to use and do save lives

  1. A recent model, full-size, four-door sedan with manual lap/shoulder belts in front and rear
  2. Two monitors
  3. Four traffic cones or other items to keep the relay area safe
  4. A stopwatch that registers hundredths of a second (0.00)
  5. Score sheet for recording times (included)
  6. A whistle
  7. A pen

Safety belts save lives. But an alarming number of today’s teens do not wear their safety belts, and the result can be deadly. Students need to make safety belt use a priority for themselves and their peers.

The Quick Click Challenge is a competition that demonstrates the ease of putting on and taking off a safety belt. Teams of four students and/or adults race against each other in this safety belt relay.

What to Do

  1. Find an area that is level and paved to provide good footing.

  2. Set up ropes or cones to keep spectators out of the competition area. One of the four cones should be positioned at each corner of the vehicle approximately four inches from the bumpers.

  3. Divide group into teams of four players each (someone can go more than once if the teams are uneven).

  4. The four members will start buckled in their seats.

  5. When the whistle is blown, the stopwatch is activated. Each person will unbuckle and move to the next seat (of a clockwise rotation).

  6. One monitor will watch and blow the whistle when all four players are buckled up.

  7. The action is repeated four times, so that each person sits once in each seat.

  8. When each member is back in his/her original seat, the time is stopped and recorded by the second monitor.

  9. The team that completes the rotation in the shortest amount of time is the winner.

  10. Winning teams can compete with teams from other schools or challenge teachers to a "belt-off."

Making Your Quick Click Challenge Relay a Success

Quick Click Score Sheet

Team Name Participants Time Place

Download this infomation in MS Word format.

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